Tag Archives: online

Global Biodiversity Forecasting and Response System to Embrace Information, Networking Technologies

At the Global Biodiversity Informatics Conference (GBIC) held in Copenhagen, Denmark earlier this month, experts from around the globe agreed on key priorities for using information technologies and social networks to help understand life on Earth.

The focus of the work is on “how biodiversity can continue to sustain human lives and livelihoods.”

Information networks support and permeate nearly every aspect of our daily lives in areas such as banking, commerce and entertainment. We still do not have this kind of rich, globally-interconnected system for understanding and monitoring life on Earth. We know a lot about species, genetics, and ecology, but we can’t easily put this information together into a working knowledge system. This conference has given us a roadmap toward this goal.”

“Over the last quarter century, thousands of talented people have been working hard to bring essential biodiversity data onto the web. Much has already been achieved or is under development. GBIC has reinforced how important these activities are, and at the same time has outlined a path for us to build from where we are and deliver a rich globally-connected system for understanding and monitoring multiple aspects of biodiversity.”

— Donald Hobern, Executive Director, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)

The overarching goal is to support collaborative biodiversity observation on a global level so that short-term changes and longer-term trends can be identified and appropriate responses can be enabled.

Next steps include developing an “outlook document” that will prioritize biodiversity informatics in order to create forecasting and response capabilities like those used in forecasting the weather and detecting earthquakes.

How is technology changing your life for the better?

Learn more at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-07/gbif-bgc070612.php

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.

“Map of Life” Project Aspires to Understand and Save World’s Biodiversity

A new, web-based “Map of Life” is being developed by a team of researchers from Yale University and the University of Colorado Boulder. The purpose of the online tool is to show how living plants and animals are distributed around the planet.

A small but powerful next step is to provide a means for anyone, anywhere on the globe to use their mobile devices to instantly pull up animal and plant distributions and even get a realistic assessment on the odds of encountering a particular species of wildlife,”

—Robert Guralnick, Associate Professor and curator of invertebrate zoology, Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado

The team has compiled various types of data about life on Earth that has been collected during the past 200 years. In addition to professional scientists, potential users include wildlife and land managers, organizations that focus on conservation efforts, and the general public.

Additional information is available at http://www.mappinglife.org/about.

How is technology changing your life for the better?

Learn more at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-05/uoca-no051012.php

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.

All the World’s Plants to Find a Digital Home Online

Botanical Illustration of a peony.
Leading botanical gardens are banding together to create a “full inventory of plant life.”

Four of the world’s top botanical gardens have signed a memorandum of understanding that solidifies their plans to develop World Flora, the first complete online catalog of the world’s plants, by the year 2020.

The participating institutions are The New York Botanical Garden; the Missouri Botanical Garden; The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

In a shared announcement, the project’s leaders state that World Flora will help meet the need for a baseline survey of the world’s plants, and they shared their hope that its creation may help to halt the continuing loss of plant biodiversity due to extinction worldwide.

Thanks to advances in our botanical knowledge and in digital technology, an online World Flora is within our grasp. It is imperative that we create this resource, which will help us assess the value of all plant species to humankind and be effective stewards to ensure their survival.”

—Gregory Long, Chief Executive Officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden

World Flora will build upon an earlier online work, The Plant List, developed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Plant List contains accepted names and synonyms for all known plant species.

World Flora is intended to be much more detailed and will also contain descriptions, images, and distribution information for every known plant.

Learn more at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/tnyb-ppo042012.php

The New York Botanical Garden: http://www.nybg.org

Missouri Botanical Garden: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: http://www.kew.org

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh: http://www.rbge.org.uk

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.